Chemistry MChem (Hons)

Why choose this course?

Chemistry is a dynamic, multi-faceted subject. This integrated masters course places emphasis on research alongside developing your laboratory, practical and professional skills.

You'll study polymer and industrial chemistry and analytical chemistry. A research project will enhance your skills in experimental design, critical analysis and problem-solving. You'll also develop your understanding of inorganic, physical, organic and medicinal chemistry. Additional modules will expand your skills for interpreting the results of modern spectroscopic investigations.

To provide a base for this advanced learning, the course shares Years 1 and 2 with the Chemistry BSc course.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
4 years full time F104 2023

This course is now full for 2022 entry – please apply from September for 2023 entry.

For 2023 entry please ensure your application is submitted before the UCAS January deadline 2023 as this course may not be in a position to consider applications submitted after this date.

Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This MChem degree is ideal if you are considering a career as an industrial or research chemist.
  • The course prepares you for employment in industry or research, providing a deep understanding of how to approach a research problem.
  • State of the art laboratories include networked computers for each workspace, refurbished through a recent £6 million investment.

What you will study

Years 1 and 2 of the MChem(Hons) course are identical to our BSc(Hons) course.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Optional sandwich year

Year 4

Year 1 introduces the fundamental aspects of the subject. Three foundation modules will consolidate your existing knowledge and provide a base on which you can develop advanced concepts. You will learn and develop the laboratory and practical techniques needed for the later years of the course. These are among the skills expected of a professional chemist, so will enhance your CV and employability. You will also broaden your knowledge through a module that discusses environmental chemistry. A further module of academic and professional skills enables you to enhance transferable skills valued by employers.

Core modules

Foundation Organic and Physical Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module for Chemistry degree courses. It introduces the structure and isomerism observed in organic molecules, then describes the preparation and chemical reactions (including the mechanisms involved) of the hydrocarbons and monofunctional organic molecules. The main principles of molecular systems, chemical reactivity and kinetics, including those of gas-phase reactions, are described before presenting the essential principles of chemical thermodynamics and molecular quantum mechanics.

Foundation Inorganic and Environmental Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module for chemistry degree courses. The module introduces various bonding models including the structure and bonding of inorganic solids. Trends in the periodic table are illustrated by coverage of the chemistry of Group 1, 13 and 17 elements. The module introduces you to atmospheric and aquatic pollution and goes on to cover the impact of pollutants on the environment.

Introduction to Spectroscopy and Experimental Techniques

30 credits

This module provides an introduction to basic laboratory techniques and procedures such as weighing and volumetry, proceeding to descriptions of laboratory manipulations, elemental analysis and general practical knowledge. There is included an introduction to spectroscopic techniques in terms of simple theory, as well as a practical introduction to the identification of simple organic compounds. These compounds will sometimes be synthesised in the course of the practical element of the module, which will also serve to demonstrate laboratory techniques of preparation and purification of these organic materials.

Academic Skills for Molecular Sciences

30 credits

This is a core module for all chemistry and pharmaceutical science programmes. The module aims to give you a thorough grounding in mathematics, statistics, key and transferable skills (e.g. exam strategy, effective use of calculators, library and referencing, avoiding plagiarism, problem-solving and personal development planning etc.) and IT skills.

Year 2 takes a more in-depth look at inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. You will continue with experimental work, developing theoretical knowledge and practical skills for becoming a competent professional. Additional modules, covering experimental and analytical chemistry, will expand your skills for interpreting the results of modern spectroscopic investigations.

An optional sandwich year or study abroad gives you the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of how chemistry is applied in an industrial situation or an overseas academic institution. A placement tutor will help prepare you to find a placement.

Core modules

Inorganic Chemistry

30 credits

This module is a core module for the Chemistry fields. The module builds upon the theory and principles developed in Foundation Inorganic Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry and applies them second and third row transition metal, the lanthanides and Group 14. It introduces solid state chemistry with a consideration of defects and conductivity. The module also introduces bonding and reactivity of inorganic complexes and organometallics. Nearly 25% of the teaching time is spent in the laboratory carrying out synthetic work and quantitative analysis.

Organic and Medicinal Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module Level 5 module for the Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science fields.

The module seeks to develop and expand your knowledge of both Organic Chemistry and Medicinal Chemistry subject areas and introduces important principles, reactions and mechanisms in organic chemical reactivity as well as basic mechanisms of drug action. It develops your understanding of the methodology of organic synthesis following concepts introduced at level 4 and includes important organic chemistry topics such as carbanion reactivity of carbonyl compounds, the reactions of aromatic and heteroaromatic compounds, stereochemistry, asymmetric synthesis and retrosynthesis

It also introduces the specific reasons why a small amount of a drug molecule can exert a complex biological response. It uses examples from a range of medicinal areas in order to illustrate these key processes as well as giving an introduction on the ideas of drug design and the role this plays in the modern pharmaceutical industry.

This module also gives you experience of using spectroscopic techniques for chemical structure elucidation. Lectures and workshops are designed to develop your problem-solving and team-working skills. Practical skills will also be developed during two 3-hour laboratory experiments from weeks 9 to 12 of teaching block 1. These experiments will reinforce the concepts of enolate and aromatic chemistry taught during teaching block 1. In teaching block 2, you will present a poster concerning a medicinal natural product, to integrate organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry in a real-world context. This module is essential for those wishing to take the more advanced Level 6 Organic Chemistry modules.

Physical Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module for Chemistry degree courses. The module discusses the electrochemistry of ionic solutions including both strong and weak electrolytes; cell electrochemistry and the associated applications to chemical thermodynamics; phase equilibria and colligative properties; transition state theory of chemical reactions; complex reaction mechanisms and their kinetic analysis; an introduction to statistical thermodynamics and partition function; and the quantum mechanics and theory underlying both rotational (microwave) and vibrational (Infra-red and Raman) spectroscopies, including rigid rotor and centrifugal distortion models and both simple harmonic and anharmonic vibration models and their interactions.

Analytical and Experimental Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module for BSc Chemistry and MChem students. It takes forward the themes of analysis and practical procedures (with an emphasis on analytical and organic chemistry) that were introduced in previous modules. It incorporates both a more rigorous approach to laboratory work, coupled with developing the research skills required to devise experiments and then objectively assess results, followed by preparing high-quality reports and presentations.

The analytical methodologies and experimental techniques are those used routinely in academia, industry, and other laboratory research - spectroscopy; organic syntheses; molecular modelling; inorganic and physical chemistries; and the uses of applied separation technologies in common use.

The modes of obtaining and evaluating findings, by use of electronic databases (eg. Reaxys®) in addition to conventional printed literature sources. The ability to write coherent, evidence-based, yet succinct reports is a component.

Students will also gain opportunities to develop other important skills, from utilising statistics to planning and presentation techniques, all of which improve employability.

Over 50% of the formal contact teaching time is spent on practical work. Core teaching material is uploaded onto Canvas with lectures explaining key concepts.

Year 3 shares some modules with our BSc(Hons) course, particularly in areas of organic, natural product, physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry. However, it offers an opportunity to study industrial as well as polymer and materials chemistry in greater depth.

Core modules

Organic and Natural Product Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module for Chemistry and M. Pharm. Sci degree courses, and is optional for the BSc. Pharm. Sci. Degree course. The module builds upon and develops further, topics introduced in the earlier level 5 module CH5002, for example, stereoselective synthesis and retrosynthetic analysis. In addition, new topics are introduced such as pharmacognosy, combinatorial chemistry, photochemistry, free radical chemistry and pericyclic reactions. The lectures and associated workshops will encourage the development of problem solving and team working skills, in order to prepare you for your future careers. These skills will be practised during laboratory-based exercises, where you will participate in group "mini-projects" which will be assessed using a range of methodologies that include oral presentations, report writing and poster presentations.

Inorganic and Physical Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module for both the MChem Chemistry BSc Chemistry courses. It takes forward the themes of atomic and molecular electronic structure, photochemistry and spectroscopy that were introduced in the previous modules and develops a more rigorous theoretical footing. In addition important concepts of surface chemistry are developed through the study of various surface phenomena such as adsorption, micellisation and heterogeneous catalysis. The inorganic part of the module focuses on ligands with multiple donor atoms and their complexes, with particular reference to bioinorganic chemistry and some application in supramolecular chemistry.

Polymer and Industrial Chemistry

30 credits

This is a core module for the MChem Chemistry course. It provides a grounding in polymer chemistry, natural and synthetic macro molecules and the measurement of polymer molar masses. It goes on to explain the effects of structure and processing on polymer properties and how they can be modified. It also aims to give an understanding of typical applications of macromolecular materials, biomaterials and composites in industry and everyday life. The module introduces various aspects of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry pertinent to possible future careers and aims to cover a wide range of topics including green chemistry, patents, intellectual property, health and safety, and other legislation.  Many of the descriptive parts of the module are reinforced by workshops and group assignment to develop their communication, teamwork and independent learning skills.. The core lecture material is supported by workshops and laboratory practical classes which reinforce the theoretical concepts learnt.

Advanced Analytical Science

30 credits

This is a core module of MPharmSci (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science and MChem(Hons) Chemistry and an option for BSc(Hons) Chemistry  and BSc(Hons) Pharmaceutical Science students. It takes forward the themes of spectroscopy that were introduced in the previous modules and develops a more rigorous theoretical footing and advanced applications. In parallel to this, analytical themes are introduced covering radiochemical analysis, electroanalysis and thermal analysis.

An optional sandwich year or study abroad gives you the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of how chemistry is applied in an industrial situation or an overseas academic institution. A placement tutor will help prepare you to find a placement.

In Year 4, you will spend half of your time on a research project, enhancing your skills in experimental design, critical analysis, problem solving and laboratory work. Other modules develop your knowledge and understanding of inorganic, physical, organic and medicinal chemistry.

Core modules

Research Project

60 credits

The project module is core for MChem and MPharmSci courses and is designed to foment the necessary conceptual and practical skills in research, which are immediately applicable across disciplines and to enable the development of communications skills for the dissemination of the outcomes of research. Where possible, research should be communicated via publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Design, Discovery and Development of Pharmaceuticals

30 credits

The module details the synthetic chemistry behind the development of drug molecules and evaluates quantitatively the structure activity effects from pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic perspectives. Advanced experimental techniques in spectroscopy and compound separation will be discussed in the context of drug discovery and development. The module also outlines the process for intellectual property protection and exploitation.

Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry

30 credits

This module covers current or more specialised developments and topics throughout.  In its inorganic content, it discusses organometallic compounds and lanthanide complexes. The emphasis is on synthesis, structure, bonding and industrial applications. In the physicochemical content of the module, fundamental phenomena will be discussed which are applicable to the characterisation of a wide variety of inorganic materials, and surface adsorbed species.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Solve problems related to the structure and bonding of transition metal and lanthanide organometallics and predict the general reactivity of transition metal and lanthanide complexes including stereocontrol.
  • Discuss the application of transition metal and lanthanide complexes to the production of speciality chemicals and materials.
  • To choose appropriate physical techniques and apply these to the characterisation of chosen inorganic or organic materials or mixtures.
  • Solve problems related to the fundamental nature of the selected physical phenomena and their relation to characterisation of inorganic materials and surfaces.
  • Describe the fundamental nature of the physical processes involved.
Professional Placement

60 credits

The Professional Placement module is a core module for those students following a Masters programme that incorporates an extended professional placement that follows completion of the taught modules.  It provides students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in an appropriate working environment, and to develop and enhance key employability skills and subject specific skills in their chosen subject.  Students may wish to use the placement experience as a platform for the major project or future careers.

Please note

Optional modules only run if there is enough demand. If we have an insufficient number of students interested in an optional module, that module will not be offered for this course.

Foundation Year

If you would like to study one of our science degrees at Kingston University but are not yet ready, you can include an extra foundation year within your chosen degree. Please see the science foundation year course page for details of modules.

Entry requirements

Typical offer 2022

  • 112-128 UCAS points from a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications.
  • A-levels to include minimum grade C in A-level Chemistry and one other science subject (second science can be Biology, Physics or Maths). General Studies and Critical Thinking not accepted.

Alternatively, BTEC Diploma/Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Chemistry) only must have merits in the following units:

  • Unit 1 : "Principles and Applications in Science 1"
  • Unit 5: "Principles and Applications in Science 2"
  • Unit 13: "Applications of Inorganic Chemistry"
  • Unit 14: "Applications of Organic Chemistry"

Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects grades A*-C including Mathematics and English Language (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications such as an Access Course in a relevant Science subject which has been passed with 112 UCAS points including 18 Level 3 credits in Chemistry with a minimum 9 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 9 Level credits at Merit.

Applications from those that have undertaken a Science foundation year will also be considered.


We welcome applications from International Applicants. View our standard entry requirements from your country.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.0, with no element below 5.5.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

What our students say

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, workshops and practical classes. Theory work is backed up by independent or group-based practical study.

Assessment typically comprises 60% exam and 40% coursework, including practical exercises and in-course tests. Projects are assessed by practical work, presentation of results and a written report.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University.

Your workload

Type of learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 412 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 766 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 439 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 761 hours
Year 3
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 360 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 840 hours

How you will be assessed

Type of assessment

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 1
  • Coursework: 48%
  • Exams: 52%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 40%
  • Practical: 8%
  • Exams: 52%
Year 3
  • Coursework: 31%
  • Practical: 14%
  • Exams: 55%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled learning and teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally a 5 students and lecture sizes are normally 5­­-130.  However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by the School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry.

The School of Life Sciences, Pharmacy and Chemistry offers an outstanding and diverse portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in biological and biomedical sciences, chemistry, forensic science, pharmacy, pharmacological and pharmaceutical sciences, and sport science and nutrition.

We've invested heavily in the development of new facilities including laboratories for teaching and research to provide students with access to ultra-modern equipment in a wide range of teaching facilities.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.


There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • the £9.8 million Eadweard Muybridge building with state-of the art laboratories, including labs dedicated to chemistry;
  • specialist equipment, such as:
    • gas and liquid chromatography;
    • electron and confocal microscopy;
    • a range of spectrometers, including mass spectrometers, infrared spectrometers and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers;
    • nuclear science equipment;
    • thermal analysis;
    • x-ray diffractometers; and
    • electrochemical analysis;
  • computing laboratories and a team of IT technicians to offer assistance.

The libraries offer:

  • subject libraries, plus a free inter-library loan scheme to other libraries in the Greater London area;
  • online database subscriptions; and
  • a growing selection of resource material

Course fees and funding

2022/23 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2022/23 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK students) £9,250*

Year 1 (2022/23): £15,400
Year 2 (2023/24): £15,800
Year 3 (2024/25): £16,200
Year 4 (2025/26): £16,600

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* If your course involves a foundation year, the fee for that year for Home (UK) students will be £9,250 in 2022/23. The fees shown above apply for Year 1 of the degree from 2022/23 onwards (fees may rise in line with inflation for future academic years). For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

Eligible UK students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.


Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost between £100 and £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.


Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston-upon-Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Field trips

All field trips that are compulsory to attend to complete your course are paid for by the University. There may be small fees incurred for optional field trips such as travel costs and refreshments.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Kingston University will supply you with a lab coat and safety goggles at the start of the year.

After you graduate

Graduates work at organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, the NHS and in the City of London. Many progress to further study.

Employability preparation at Kingston University

In addition to building expertise in your own discipline, our courses will also help you to develop key transferable skills that you'll need for professional life or further study once you graduate.

As well as a range of careers and employability activities at Kingston, we also offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills in live contexts as an integral part of your course. Opportunities include:

  • placements;
  • working or studying abroad;
  • volunteering;
  • peer mentoring roles; and
  • internship opportunities within and outside the University.

In your final year, you'll get the opportunity to complete a major 'capstone' project where you can apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired to a range of real issues in different contexts. This is a great way to learn and is a valuable bridge to employment or further research at masters level.

Courses available after you graduate

If you decide that you would like to go on to postgraduate study after your undergraduate course, we offer a 10 per cent discount on our postgraduate course tuition fees to our alumni.

What our students say

Kingston University has been the best choice and the most amazing experience of my life. It gave me the chance to develop myself and getting involved in a lot of extracurricular activities which allowed me to develop myself as a person.

I have volunteered myself from the first day of university to become a course representative, whom deals with issues and suggestions raised within my class. Hence I have been nominated to become a senior course representative within the faculty. This was an incredible experience and boosted up my confidence to stand for the Union of Kingston Students' elections.

Kingston University offered a range of development programs that I had a chance to get involved in, including the leadership programme, SPRINT programme and the Inspiring Talent mentoring scheme. Besides my degree, these courses have taught me a lot and shaped me into the person I am today.

My lecturers have been absolutely amazing and supportive throughout my degree. They were always available and willing to help, giving extra revision classes as well as one to one sessions when needed."

Vino Suseetharan, Chemistry MChem (Hons)

As someone who has always wanted to join a scientific profession, I knew from an early age that chemistry was what I wanted to study. Now as a third-year student, I can say with ease that Kingston was definitely the right choice; the labs and equipment accessible to you is great and with a teaching staff to match, you really can't go wrong!

Even though there are other universities in London that teach chemistry, Kingston University appealed to me the most because of the practical application of what you learn in the classroom. Whether you are looking to do MChem with an industrial placement or the BSc (Hons) degree, the hands-on experience will more than prepare you for industry.

Furthermore, Kingston as a town is a very nice place to live. Situated on the outskirts of London, it still has a lot to offer but is not so busy and 'in your face'.

For studying chemistry, you can't go wrong at Kingston University. With the broad range of theory taught and the large amount of hands on experience, a Kingston chemistry degree will set you up for a successful future."

Daniel Elford, Chemistry MChem (Hons)

Changes from 1 August 2022

Up until 31st July 2022 this course was taught in the Faculty of Science Engineering and Computing. For students enrolling from September 2022, the course will be delivered by the Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education. There will be no impact on the teaching or the award of the degree.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.